Finland to switch on major solar power facility next year 

The Alaska Dispatch:  Finland’s southwestern city of Salo has just completed Finland’s largest solar power farm, designed to power the Astrum business center.

The plant is one of just a few solar energy facilities in the country.

Finland’s largest solar energy plant is set to power on next year in the southwestern city of Salo, which has recently been devastated by the shuttering of production facilities by the former mobile phone giant Nokia.

The connections with Nokia run deep. The plant will supply energy to a business center located on the premises of the former television and electronics company Salora, which later became part of the emergent Nokia in the 1990s. The plant’s maximum capacity is 322 kilowatts and is one of just three in Finland with that level of output. The others are both located in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

The competition to be the country’s biggest solar power farm is heating up, with Lappeenranta in southeast Finland also building a major league facility. Not only is the Salo plant the largest in Finland, it also dwarfs almost all others in the Nordics.

The solar panels will begin producing energy at full capacity in March and the excess energy generated by its more than 1,000 solar panels will spill over into the municipal grid, according to project director Esa Areva of the lead contractor Areva Solar.

“The electricity grid will always be alongside. It may be that that on some days, the mid-day hours will produce a few extra kilowatts. The energy will be put to use,” Areva added.

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